It’s no secret that cash remains the preferred payment option for patrons on the gaming floor, even as mobile transaction options are growing in popularity among consumers.
One of the reasons cash remains king within the casino environment may have to do with continuously evolving bill acceptor technology, which strives to provide gaming device-based monetary transactions with the speed and convenience customers have grown to expect. Meanwhile, from an operator’s perspective, bill acceptors remain valued as a first line of defense against a number of cash-centric criminal activities such as counterfeiting, fishing and money laundering.
“Because gaming is such a cash-heavy industry, and because it is so stringently regulated, having the most aggressive defenses is critical to regulatory requirement and to bottom line survival,” said Tom Nieman, vice president of worldwide marketing at JCM Global. “Bill validators must strike an incredibly delicate balance between ultimate convenience and absolute security, and for more than 60 years now, JCM has been working every day to develop products that are better, smarter and faster in striking that balance.”
Indeed, as criminals continue to hone their fraud capabilities, casino security and cash validation companies must work to stay on top of the situation. “We will continue to improve our defense capabilities, working alongside treasury departments, to stay ahead of criminals,” Nieman said.
It’s also important that both bill validator providers continue to embrace technology and adapt products accordingly. For example, treasury departments are getting better and better at using technology to create notes that are more difficult to counterfeit. In turn, this requires bill validator companies to improve scanning capabilities so their products can recognize and accept the enhanced currency.
“The future will require bill validators to do more so operators and their customers can do more as well,” Nieman said.
Bill validators remain a core technology for most casinos. Modern iterations of these devices include improved flexibility and interconnectivity to help with gaming property marketing and analytics efforts. Below is a brief overview of the latest advances in this market segment.
JCM Global is a world leading transaction technologies supplier for the banking, retail, kiosk and gaming industries. The company is operating on six continents and has been in business for nearly 65 years with primary locations in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan; Las Vegas; Dusseldorf, Germany; and regional offices throughout APAC, EMEA, North America and Latin America and the Caribbean, along with key distributor relationships worldwide.
JCM continues to improve and expand the capabilities of its iVIZION bill validator. “When we released iVIZION, we told the industry that it was the foundation of intelligent validation, and that we would be building on that foundation over time, and we have,” Nieman said. “Today, iVIZION has increased functionality, such as our new FUZION technology, that operators can take advantage of without having to install an entirely new bill validator.”
JCM has also recently released its TBV (transactional bill validator), which accepts single note and bulk note transactions, and multiple denominations and currencies simultaneously. Its bulk note feeder also accepts up to 50 notes for quick processing of large stacks.
Another new release is its MRX, a modular banknote recycler with advanced escrow function. It is a flexible solution for a wide range of payment applications in gaming/amusement, and in other business applications such as SCO, payment kiosk, mini ATMs and self-service deposit, making it an option for the back office.
Like most, JCM’s bill validators have changed with the times as dictated by new currencies, operator needs, regulatory requirements and criminal capabilities. The iVIZION bill validator is built with a sensing package called CIS (contact image sensing) technology. CIS scans more than 9.5 million data points of every note, which is reportedly twice that of the nearest competitor. This technology captures the entire image of every note or ticket, front and back, including the note serial number, giving casino security a very powerful tool in combating a wide range of criminal activities, as the image capture can provide evidentiary proof. iVIZION’s CIS is a combination of optical and mechanical sensors.
In addition to CIS, iVIZION’s mechanical anti-fishing technology offers an added layer of protection. “We alluded to the new MRX earlier, and the new technologies in MRX start with its modular design, which is adaptable to nearly any configuration and works with or without note recycling, plus, its on-site module replacement minimized downtime,” Nieman said. “Large 2,200-note cassettes mean less servicing, and the cassettes can load up to three denominations at the same time, for fast speed and consumer convenience.”
The MRX also features high-speed processing of two notes per second—accepting or dispensing. Its bulk-note feeder and payout technology allows for up to 30 notes to be deposited or paid in bulk, and the 30-note escrow feature returns the same notes in a cancelled transaction.
FUZION is leading the way forward in including improved flexibility and interconnectivity to help with gaming property market and analytics efforts. Bill validators and printers rely on the computing power in the EGM itself to function. FUZION, on the other hand, connects with the property’s existing CMS, allowing the bill validator and printer to use the much larger computing power of the main system.
“We’re really excited about our FUZION technology, because when it is combined with iVIZION and our GEN5 printer, FUZION unleashes the possibility for each slot machine could become a multi-line profit center with the current potential to perform a wide-range of convenience functions for the player, such as vending and redeeming lottery tickets; vending and redeeming race and sports betting; facilitating daily fantasy sports (DFS) wagering, the casino’s own or a third party’s; conducting cross-enterprise promotional couponing for carded and uncarded players; enabling real-time currency exchange with adjustable exchange rates; and even streamlining tax forms processes, so that players can enjoy their gaming session quickly without having to wait several minutes for a tax form to be processed,” Nieman said.
SUZOHAPP, a technology company that provides software and hardware for cash handling automation and self-service solutions to more than 25,000 customers throughout the world, uses technology that enables automation for customers operating in a variety of end markets, including gaming. SUZOHAPP’s solutions include cash deposit, recycling, processing and payment systems as well as a broad range of self-service component technologies. The brands of SCAN COIN, Comestero, CashComplete and Coinco are united under the SUZOHAPP company. More than 1,100 employees operate in 19 countries and the company’s dealer network covers more than 100 countries.
Cash handling equipment is a strategic offering for SUZOHAPP and a broad range of components were showcased at G2E Asia. The company gave its latest information on the Comestero coin validators that offer coin discrimination and market-leading anti-fraud technology. Among the coin validators offered by the company is the RM5 HD, a high-discrimination electronic coin validator.
The RM5 HD coin validator has reportedly set new standards in coin validation. According to the product description, the RM5 HD’s features include:
- Versatility: RM5 HD offers high performance in various application fields. Its high acceptance speed makes it the ideal partner for the new slots in the gaming sector, where speed is an essential component and reliability, guaranteed by the ccTalk protocol is extremely important.
- Safety: Its counterfeit recognition capability makes it safe against fraud and the mechanical and electronic traps protect the machine onto which it is installed against burglary.
- Design: RM5 HD constructive standards represent a further innovation thanks to its completely new design, sturdy materials and resistance over time. RM5 HD offers wide configuration possibilities to meet the requirements of the various application fields. Configuration is simple and intuitive thanks to the Multiconfig program and can be made on the field thanks to the new Virtual Dip Switch mobile device, which allows setting some essential configuration parameters without having to disconnect the coin mechanism from the machine onto which it is installed.
- New HD Technology: Thanks to technology research, RM5 HD is an important step forward; featuring 10 different coin calibrations carried out by means of five sensors (inductive, optical and magnetic), which result in improved recognition parameters. All this creates a high discrimination level for separating false coins from the legal ones.
- High Acceptance Speed: The design of the coin duct allows for a drastic reduction of the time taken for the coin to travel inside the coin mechanism, which results in a considerable reduction of the validation time: up to six coins per second.
- Advanced Anti-Fraud Systems: New and advanced anti-fraud systems detect the most common fraud systems, such as the introduction of retrieving wires. Special mechanical traps and the electronic detection of the coin movement direction ensure high safety standards against burglary attempts.
SUZOHAPP recently augmented its cash handling capabilities by inking a partnership/distribution deal with Nanoptix, a Canada-based provider of thermal printer solutions.
“We are particularly proud of this new partnership” said Goran Sovilj, vice president of sales Gaming EMEA for SUZOHAPP, in a prepared statement. “Nanoptix is a progressive and innovative manufacturer and represents the future of ticket printing technology. We are happy to provide our customers with the most current technology available in the marketplace and deliver quality and long-term value.”
Among the Nanoptix products distributed by SUZOHAPP is Paycheck NextGen, the latest TITO printer in the Paycheck series of products. The printer features an anti-jamming paper path, PC-based infrastructure, media connections, built-in network capabilities, USB hosts and slave ports, anti-spillage features and other innovations. Its powerful NextGen hardware infrastructure has also been incorporated throughout the Paycheck series of products including the Paycheck Terminal and Kiosk, the Paycheck Desktop 2, and the new HSVL Roll platform to be officially launched later this year, allowing greater performance and innovation.
Crane Payment Innovations (CPI), a Crane Co. Company, continues to empower the gaming industry with its proven range of currency validation technologies and real cash management solutions.
The SC Advance note acceptor remains the company’s touchstone product, setting the gold standard for performance, reliability and total cost of ownership. It is part of the winning SC product line, of which more than 2 million units have been sold worldwide. According to press materials, SC Advance features the industry’s highest first-pass acceptance rate for valid street-grade notes—including those that are damp, dirty, crinkled or torn. Its robust recognition system is built to effectively read the high-tech security features that are, and soon will be, introduced on new banknotes around the world. And, its expansive memory accommodates new banknote introductions as well as new security algorithms that will protect operators against emerging criminal threats.
SC Advance is also accompanied by a growing suite of modular extensions—including EASITRAX, the industry’s smartest cashbox system that is now installed in more than 200,000 games worldwide. EASITRAX provides the critical insight needed to drive faster, smarter and more profitable efficiencies from the gaming floor to the back room. It works by collecting transaction and performance data directly from the note acceptor and then generating reports through its intuitive web portal. Reports are customizable and can be used to streamline the drop process, facilitate asset evaluations, optimize asset performance and improve maintenance programs.
NRT and Sightline partner with Mohegan Sun for omni-channel payment solutions
NRT Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRT Technology Corp., and Sightline Payments announced the extension and expansion of an exclusive agreement with Mohegan Sun and Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs for gaming payment systems, including online, mobile and in-person cash transactions, this past winter.
The recently acquired VisuaLimits intelligent table solution with the flagship 17-in-1 VL-Focus will be trialed across Mohegan’s table games to deliver payments and other operator benefits around productivity, management and engagement, according to a press release. Additionally, to support the Play+ branding and vision to power the world’s largest platform for cashless gaming experiences, NRT Sightline has obtained exclusive naming rights to Mohegan Sun’s new events center, which will be known as the “Play+ Events Center”.
“We’re thrilled to bring NRT Sightline’s payment technology to Mohegan Sun as our showcase property for a truly omni-channel guest experience,” said John Dominelli, NRT’s founder and CEO in a prepared statement. “As the lines that separate cash and cashless payments begin to blur, we look forward to helping Mohegan and other world-class gaming operators to simplify and expand all aspects of commerce, so that they can stay focused on their core business of delivering a great customer experience. Our partnership with Mohegan is a prime example of NRT Sightline’s unique ability to Connect the Guest Experience.”
Ray Pineault president and general manager of Mohegan Sun stated, “NRT and Sightline have invested in advanced technology and fresh concepts that go against the status quo of traditional payments. This allows us to stay competitive in our changing gaming market and our strong payment partnership and aligns with our goal to always provide our guests with the best gaming and entertainment offerings.”
NRT and Sightline are reportedly focused on leveraging and building technology to innovate in what is traditionally a cash based industry, and they are the first and only companies to bring a new approach to payments that have allowed millions of patrons to easily and securely transact while generating incredibly rich data.
“Play+ is driving mobile payments as a significant customer engagement channel across slots, tables, or any online game of choice. Mohegan Sun has confidence in investing in new and alternative payments methods to help improve the bottom line and enhance the overall customer experience” said Kirk Sanford, founder and CEO Sightline Payments.